Frequently Asked Questions

What is bankruptcy?

What can bankruptcy do for me?

What does bankruptcy not do?

What are the different types of bankruptcy available to individuals and/or small businesses?

Who will know about my bankruptcy?

Will my friends and/or relatives know I have filed bankruptcy?

Will my employer know I have filed bankruptcy?

Can I file bankruptcy on some creditors and not on others?

If I file bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file with me?

If I filed bankruptcy before, can I file again?

If I filed bankruptcy before, how long do I have to wait before I am eligible to file another bankruptcy and receive a discharge of my debts?

What happens if I filed bankruptcy before, need to file again and cannot wait until I am eligible to receive a discharge of my debt?

How will bankruptcy affect my co-signer?

A Chapter 7 prevents a creditor from collecting from you; however, it does not stop the creditor from demanding payment from your co-debtor. If the debt is secured (house, car, furniture, boat, etc.) and you want to keep the collateral, you can continue to pay the debt during the bankruptcy to protect the co-signer. If the debt is unsecured (credit card, utilities, medical, etc.) you can repay the debt after your discharge to protect a co-signer.

Chapter 13 may provide protection to co-signers if the co-signed debt was for consumer goods and the debt is paid through the Chapter 13 Plan. It does not provide co-signer protection for business debts or tax liability.

Your bankruptcy filing may negatively impact your co-signer's credit rating as the co-signed debt will be listed on the co-signer's credit report as being included in bankruptcy.

Will I have to go to court?

Will bankruptcy wipe out all my debts?

Will I lose all of my property and belongings if I file bankruptcy?

What happens to my home and car if I file bankruptcy?

Will bankruptcy affect my credit?

How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

What else should I know?

Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?

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M. Caroline Cantrell, Attorney at Law